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Rothschild's Silk Moth

Rothschildia orizaba ssp.


Rothchild's Silk Moth is a large member of the Saturniid family. This one was 16-18 cm across the wingtips. The first two pictures are of the same moth. The third I found on the outside of a painted cement building and is for comparison purposes only. Notice the color of the background showing through the "windows" on their wings.The first picture is of a moth that is in pristine condition, I would assume, recently emerged. The main color is a rich chestnut or reddish brown. The wings are edged on the sides and bottom with light brown. The color inside this edging and on the tips of the wings is pinkish.


This beautiful creature flew through the open door into the little shed where we have the controls for the hydro plant that supplies energy to the mission. It sat long enough to get a good picture of it and one of its antennae. Normally they are found "outside" from Mexico to Peru, this individual being seen in the Amazon rainforest of SE Ecuador.


There are two subspecies of the Rothschildia orizaba silk moth: Rothschildia o. peruviana and Rothschildia o. equatorialis. As I could find no reliable fotos or descriptions of these subspecies, I have left the classification as "ssp." If anyone has information on the differences, I would gladly update my ID. I would assume, with our close proximity to Peru, it would be peruviana, but without evidence I will leave the ssp unknown.

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Tukup 2 years ago

Thanks Dawn. It was in "mint" condition.

That is a pretty moth!

Tukup 2 years ago

Thanks Brian. And to think they only live 1 week at the most, not having a working mouth or digestive system. I feel fortunate to have seen several of these over the years. Beautiful and graceful.

Brian38 2 years ago

I love this spotting Tukup! Such a beautiful moth. It appears to be fascinated by the turquoise colors.

Spotted by

Morona Santiago, Ecuador

Spotted on Jul 19, 2011
Submitted on Mar 20, 2019

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